To a Wasp by Janice Towneley Moore

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“Wasp vs. Cheese Cake Batter” In “To a Wasp,” by Janice Townley Moore, a seemingly clever wasp and cheese cake batter both meet their fate on a beautiful spring day. To enhance the events that take place, the poet uses imagery in this short poem. Moore also uses a few examples of onomatopoeia, such as “chortled” (9) and “whirring” (7). This poem is in free or open verse, and has no particular rhyme scheme which suggests that the wasp and the cake maker had a carefree, easy-going attitude that day. There is nothing particularly striking or unusual about the tone in the poem until the last three lines which is a metaphor for something deeper. The last three lines perhaps hint to the theme of the poem – sometimes we simply feel as if our luck has run out and life is out to get us. The first three lines, “You must have chortled / finding that tiny hole / in the kitchen screen” (1-3), have a light almost humorous tone as the speaker describes how the wasp probably chuckled, thinking he was quite clever finding that tiny opening in the screen to slide through. The wasp was hoping to find something he could not in the outside world, and he felt he was quite lucky in finding that sweet surprise inside the kitchen. The cake batter maker also probably felt a bit lucky to be in her kitchen baking on such a beautiful spring day, whipping up what would have been a delicious cheese cake. Little did they know, their luck would soon run out. The seemingly clever wasp then “dives” into the cheese cake batter with “no chance to swim ashore / no saving spoon” (5-7). Moore’s diction adds to the careless and curious attitude of the wasp. The word “dives” has a connotation of plunging or jumping right in headfirst. The speaker uses the word “dives” instead of “flies” to show that the fly was probably very eager to get a taste of the sweet treat and just dove right in without

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